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7 Automation Tools That Will Save You Time

7 Automation Tools That Will Save You Time

Are you so busy you feel overwhelmed? Are you forever in an endless loop of tasks that don’t go away?

Of course, you are busy. You are living in a Digital Age, where you have more choices available to you than ever before.

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A to-do list is like the laundry. You keep tending to it, but it just replenishes itself, and you have to deal with your chores all over again. What if there was a way for you not to deal with your to-do list, but to let modern technology take care of your pending tasks?

There is a way, and that avenue to freedom from stress is called “automation.”

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Someone once strangely remarked their preference is not to use automation but to do activities manually. We are living in the 21st century. Isn’t that thinking just a bit archaic? Other people try to save time by resorting to following strange productivity tips.

If you’d like to pass on strange and backward thinking, try these automation tools. They cover a wide variety of activities.

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  • Alexa will automate your home. She can tell you the predicted temperature, so you know how to dress. You don’t have to stop using your hands; just ask Alexa to play a song or set an alarm. Her capabilities are currently endless and Amazon updates her functionality consistently. Cost: Approximately $200.00 with parts.
  • Google Inbox saves you time from weeding through your emails by prioritizing them for you. This way, you spend your time looking through what you consider most important. The app shows you categorizes your incoming emails for you. Your choices are trips, purchases, finance, and social, and promotions. If you get the extension, you can also save links you find in your inbox for later. Note, since this is Google’s tool, only your Gmail can be sorted using it. Cost: Free.
  • GetResponse is the amazing automation tool for small and medium-size businesses. If you have an online business, this tool of the future takes care of all your tasks. Think of it as one-stop-shopping since it completes your many tasks for you easily and beautifully. The GetResponse Automation Tool helps you in many ways.  First, you can build your email list since GetResponse will store the emails you currently have. Also, the tool will help you grow your subscriber list. You can use one of GetResponse’s over 500 beautiful pre-made templates, or you can design your own. Last, GetResponse will send your emails and details about conferences such as webinars. It will even organize your webinars for you. Your business will be far more lucrative as a result of GetResponses’s ability to split test and segment your clients. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, GetResponse and the tool’s 24/7 support staff will quickly and effectively help you with your digital marketing needs. Cost: Free 30-day trial. Basic plans start at $15.00 per month.
  • IFTTT (If This, Then That) is based on a cause and effect principle. You connect the causes and the effects you want to happen. For example, if it is going to rain the next day, IFTTT will let you know, so you can dress appropriately and bring an umbrella. Cost: Free.
  • Social media schedulers exist so you can schedule your posts at your convenience. If your friends and relatives are in a different time zone, and you want your posts to appear on Facebook when they are awake and you are asleep, no problem. Schedulers like Buffer and Hootsuite will schedule your social media posts for you, and even pick optimal times when your connections are most likely to see them. Cost: Hootsuite is free; Buffer is free for up to 10 posts in your queue at a time.
  • Tweet Jukebox will then take your social media posts and recycle them, so you only have to type them once, and your message can be replayed, hence the name Tweet Jukebox. Cost: Tweet Jukebox is free.
  • Pinterest schedulers exist so you can reshare your Pinterest pins as often as you want. These scheduling tools are also set for optimal times, or you can manually select the times and the boards you want to pin to. Cost: The price varies depending on the scheduler. For example, Ahalogy and ViralWoot are free; Tailwind starts at $5.00.

Are You Ready to Pick Up More Time in Your Day?

You can turbo charge your life by automating your daily activities with these tools for automation. Why take extra time to do activities when these seven tools will save you time? What will you do with the time you gain?

Featured photo credit: Janice Wald via mostlyblogging.com

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Janice Wald

Teacher, Author, Blogger, Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

1. ScheduleOnce

    ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

    ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

    ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

    Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

    Available on Web

    2. Calendly

      Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

      You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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      Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

      3. Assistant.to

        For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

        From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

        While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

        Available on Web

        4. Acuityscheduling

          Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

          It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

          Available on Web | iOS | Android

          5. Pick

            Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

            At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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            Available on Web

            6. X.ai

              For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

              This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

              Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

              Available on Web

              7. YouCanBook.me

                is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                Available on Web

                8. Doodle

                  Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                  It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                  You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                  While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                  Available on Web | iOS | Android

                  9. WhenAvailable

                    WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                    Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                    Available on Web

                    10. Rally

                      Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                      Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                      Available on Web

                      11. NeedtoMeet

                        Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                        NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                        While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                        Available on Web

                        Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                        In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                        To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                        Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                        A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                        Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                        If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                        Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                        With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                        The Bottom Line

                        Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                        Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                        Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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